BlackBerry Messenger presents a unique SB Nation Roundtable discussion looking back on the first half of the 2010 MLB season and ahead to the second half. Each blogger used a BlackBerry smartphone to participate via BlackBerry Messenger. Visit SB Nation.com to explore comments and discussion about this dialogue across other SB Nation sites.
Sky Kalkman, Beyond the Box Score (Stats)
(This was obviously a Blackberry promotion -- I'm not trying to hide the fact that I got paid, fyi. And as an added benefit, the roundtable was actually interesting. These are good guys who know their baseball. I'm guessing we aren't as funny as we think, though.)
The full-color chat transcript is included below. Jump into the comments and share your take, or read and discuss the roundtable on Royals Review, Amazin' Avenue, Lookout Landing, Beyond the Box Score, True Blue LA, and Lone Star Ball.
Sky Kalkman: So I think the Braves should trade for Alex Gonzalez and his .296 OBP. Anyone else?
Will McDonald: Yunel Escobar should get that done.
Eric Simon: Which poor-hitting Alex Gonzalez did they get again?
Will McDonald: Didn't the other one retire?
Eric Stephen: I was just about to ask if Gonzalez was having one of the best sub .300 OBP years ever.
Jeff Sullivan: Bengie Molina has most of them.
Sky Kalkman: Let me look up Tony Batista...
Sky Kalkman: Ok minimum 300 PA, Gonzalez is 113 all time in OPS+.
Jeff Sullivan: So what does anyone know about Tim Collins?
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like a special reliever, but then, reliever.
Eric Stephen: Not as good as a Tom Collins.
Eric Simon: Seems like a bad talent swap for the Braves. How important is attitude?
Adam J. Morris: Hard to say on attitude. We aren't there, we don't know what the issues there really are.
Will McDonald: The pro-Braves people are overrating both attitude and Collins tonight.
Eric Simon: Attitude is something. The old "change of scenery" canard in play here?
Jeff Sullivan: Ian Snell got a change of scenery. Sometimes guys just suck.
Adam J. Morris: Is Gonzalez a Good Clubhouse Guy?
Jeff Sullivan: I think he's an unknown clubhouse guy. Clubhouse filler.
Adam J. Morris: I think the Braves made a decision like Texas did a few weeks ago when they got Molina.
Adam J. Morris: They decided they couldn't live with the status quo at a position, and were willing to overpay to get someone who isn't that good, but who is at least a known commodity.
Eric Simon: How much value is there in knowing that someone is probably terrible?
Will McDonald: To what extent does Wren deserve the benefit of the doubt? I don't know how smart he is.
Will McDonald: The Braves front office also produced Dean Taylor and Dayton Moore. I'll just throw that out there.
Adam J. Morris: If you think the alternative is worse than replacement level, then paying for a replacement level player right now makes sense.
Eric Simon: It's a fair argument, Adam.
Sky Kalkman: Alex Gonzalez leads the AL in "just enough" home runs with ten. Via HitTracker Online and Jack Moore.
Jeff Sullivan: Do we know about the repeatability of JE home runs? I'd think they're mostly flukey.
Sky Kalkman: From StatCorner, Toronto home run park factor for righties is 110. In Atlanta it's 90.
Sky Kalkman: Mostly flukey yes. Park makes them more or less likely.
Eric Simon: Any notable defensive difference between Escobar and Gonzalez?
Jeff Sullivan: Not really. Escobar has a bad rep now though.
Sky Kalkman: +/- has Escobar really really high. UZR has Escobar like 5 runs better.
Adam J. Morris: The discrepancies between UZR and +/- bother me.
Jeff Sullivan: Is there a reason to use +/- right now?
Sky Kalkman: To make every fielder look good?
Eric Stephen: How reliable is UZR or +/- in season?
Adam J. Morris: What would make UZR more reliable than +/-?
Jeff Sullivan: Seems like UZR is +/- but better at everything.
Adam J. Morris: Better how?
Jeff Sullivan: Better in adjustments and boxes and all that stuff I used to know about.
Sky Kalkman: +/- adds up to +500 runs for MLB so far.
Sky Kalkman: UZR might be a little better but I like having both points of view. TotalZone is another step down but at least it uses a different data set. Would be nice to have a STATS-based metric available.
Jeff Sullivan: I like TotalZone only because of its minors application.
Eric Simon: So at face this seems like a loss for Atlanta right now.
Jeff Sullivan: This is for Will: What do you think of the current anti-anti-Moore movement?
Will McDonald: Still flawed
Jeff Sullivan: But better? Same?
Jeff Sullivan: Every front office is flawed. Even 6org's
Will McDonald: Unless Moore is revealed to be the best drafter ever, it still won't be enough.
Jeff Sullivan: Improved farm system just the result of losing so much?
Will McDonald: You still have to be competent at the MLB level.
Will McDonald: Well the Royals are the Yankees of the amateur market.
Will McDonald: They have made some good picks and outspent everyone. All still potential though and still doing dumb things.
Eric Simon: What teams are over/underperforming to this point?
Jeff Sullivan: Reds overperforming, Cards under.
Jeff Sullivan: Cards are the way better team.
Adam J. Morris: Twins underperforming.
Jeff Sullivan: The NL West is ridiculous, meanwhile.
Adam J. Morris: It seems like Cincy really wants to make a big deal.
Jeff Sullivan: I think Cincy wants to prove it belongs.
Adam J. Morris: Seems like they could end up targeting Ted Lilly.
Sky Kalkman: Orioles are underperforming.
Adam J. Morris: Not against Texas.
Eric Simon: Beyond The Boxscore power rankings have the Mets playing over their heads a bit. Mets have been linked to Lilly, too.
Sky Kalkman: Diamondbacks are underperforming, too. Mets a bit over
Adam J. Morris: Lilly needs to go to an NL team. He'd be a great fit in San Diego.
Will McDonald: Is Edinson Volquez coming back?
Jeff Sullivan: Yep. Soon.
Will McDonald: Mets definitely. Orioles are a puzzle.
Sky Kalkman: I might be biased but I love our power rankings at BtB. And by "our" I mean "Justin's".
Jeff Sullivan: Mets are overperforming, but then, Beltran.
Eric Simon: Voltron returns tomorrow. Frenchy to the bench.
Jeff Sullivan: Mets about to make a push.
Will McDonald: Buck Showalter is in a great position to look like a genius in Baltimore. That isn't a .350 team.
Sky Kalkman: The Twins are the best team in the division but four games on two teams isn't easy to make up.
Adam J. Morris: Showalter would say he's in great position to look like a genius anywhere he goes.
Adam J. Morris: And after working for Steinbrenner and Hicks, Showalter probably figures Peter Angelos will be a walk in the park.
Will McDonald: If I were a Twins fan I'd be worried. They had a lot go right and still are in third place.
Jeff Sullivan: The White Sox are over their heads but are the Twins sufficiently superior to Detroit to catch up?
Jeff Sullivan: Minnesota seems to really want to swing a deal.
Jeff Sullivan: Twins really want their new stadium in the playoffs.
Sky Kalkman: Rwins had a lot go wrong too. Hardy, Mauer, Baker, Slowey.
Jeff Sullivan: Mauer has a .792 ops. Uh oh.
Adam J. Morris: Who would trade for Crawford right now?
Jeff Sullivan: Jonah Keri argues that Crawford is a MVP candidate right now.
Will McDonald: Gonzalez for Crawford word be fascinating.
Adam J. Morris: What else does Tampa give up though?
Sky Kalkman: And scary enough, what does Tampa really need? Pretty damn deep team. DH I guess.
Jeff Sullivan: Tampa needs bats.
Will McDonald: The White Sox being in the race is great, maybe they can coax Griffey back.
Eric Simon: So who else gets moved at the deadline? Roy Oswalt?
Adam J. Morris: No Oswalt or Berkman. Drayton Mclane doesn't want to deal either. Houston would need a Cliff Lee type package for Oswalt.
Adam J. Morris: I think Roy gets dealt in the offseason
Jeff Sullivan: I think Roy is playing with his no-trade clause as we type
Jeff Sullivan: Ty Wigginton! Ty Wigginton is an All-Star infielder.
Sky Kalkman: Can Wiggy reenter every game the rest of the year?
Jeff Sullivan: Why would you ever take him out?
Sky Kalkman: People are saying Dan Uggla will get dealt.
Jeff Sullivan: Ricky Nolasco would be fascinating.
Adam J. Morris: I've been wanting Texas to get Nolasco since last year.
Will McDonald: The NL being the NL hurts the trade market because everyone is still in it. What about Prince Fielder?
Jeff Sullivan: Prince's value is probably too high. Wonder if other GMs underrate him as much as fans. Who needs a first baseman?
Adam J. Morris: Anaheim. But what does Anaheim have to deal?
Jeff Sullivan: Exactly. They're not dealing Mike Trout. Nobody trusts their AAA bats.
Adam J. Morris: And without Trout, I don't see what they could do to get Prince.
Jeff Sullivan: Joe Saunders!
Adam J. Morris: What about Crawford for Prince?
Will McDonald: Anaheim should try to take money and or an extra bad contract.
Adam J. Morris: Who has a 1B to deal and a bad contract?
Eric Simon: Phillies.
Eric Stephen: Nicely done, Eric.
Will McDonald: Lee is done though.
Adam J. Morris: Berkman and Carlos lee?
Jeff Sullivan: Isn't Scott Kazmir using up all Anaheim's extra money?
Eric Stephen: Lee and Carlos Zambrano?
Will McDonald: Zambrano ends up in Seattle somehow, right?
Eric Stephen: How much of the $45 million or so owed to Big Z would the Cubs pick up?
Eric Simon: $42 milllion. Plus anger management copays.
Eric Stephen: It would be funny if the Angels trade Kazmir for the other Zambrano.
Adam J. Morris: Would Anaheim want overbay?
Sky Kalkman: They wouldn't kick him out of bed, but meh.
Jeff Sullivan: Anaheim probably would want Overbay and he'd probably kick ass.
Jeff Sullivan: What is the value of a young, cost-controlled player versus the value of shedding a bad deal? Would it be smart for the Cubs to package, say, Starlin castro and Zambrano for nothing?
Adam J. Morris: The Rangers basically sold Michael Main for $2 million.
Sky Kalkman: If Zambrano had zero production, probably. Calculated last year that Vernon Wells's contract would have required like six Roy Halladays.
Adam J. Morris: Bowie Kuhn's need to jack with Charles Finley makes it hard to put a dollar value on a prospect.
Will McDonald: Zambrano to the White Sox somehow could be fun.
Adam J. Morris: What if Tampa could flat sell, say, Jeremy Hellickson? Would a team pay $20 million for Hellickson?
Will McDonald: Yea, if the Cuban market is any indication.
Sky Kalkman: You've seen Victor Wang's work on prospect values, no?
Adam J. Morris: Yes, but that is still not necessarily real world.
Sky Kalkman: Top-ten pitching prospect is worth about $20 million. Top-ten hitting prospect is worth almost $50 million.
Adam J. Morris: I don't think anyone would pay $50 million for, say, Desmond Jennings or Mike Stanton.
Sky Kalkman: If they were free agents, you don't think they'd get 6 years/$50 million?
Jeff Sullivan: So, Justin Smoak? What's the dollar breakdown there vs Cliff Lee?
Adam J. Morris: Jeff, if you were running the Mariners, would you sell Smoak for $50 million?
Jeff Sullivan: I think so? That is a difficult question.
Adam J. Morris: I would, no question
Will McDonald: $50 million over six years isn't that much.
Eric Simon: The team buying him would be paying $50 million plus whatever his six years of salary would be.
Adam J. Morris: Right -- what Eric said.
Will McDonald: So that's what, an extra $10 million?
Adam J. Morris: More like $20 million.
Eric Simon: Maybe $20 million to $30 million depending on how good he gets.
Jeff Sullivan: Guess maybe $10 million on average. Could always bust.
Eric Simon: Then you've spent $60 million on a bust.
Sky Kalkman: What's nice is you only pay if he's good. Like a perpetual option.
Adam J. Morris: Right, but you are paying $50 million for that right. Those are expensive options.
Sky Kalkman: Right. Paying $50 million plus salary is probably right at free agency rates.
Will McDonald: How many guys got to that level? Two? $30 million in arbitration over three years?
Adam J. Morris: I think Alfonso Soriano got $25 million over three.
Eric Simon: Not many players, but we're talking about top prospects, not the whole pool of players.
Jeff Sullivan: Changing course: any big predicted standings changes in the second half?
Jeff Sullivan: I say Cards blow by the Reds.
Sky Kalkman: I'll take the Twins and Cards and Rockies.
Will McDonald: Do the Rangers get to play the Astros anymore?
Eric Simon: Phillies get healthy and make a run.
Jeff Sullivan: NL west has four legitimate World Series representatives.
Will McDonald: I think Boston makes two good moves and gets a playoff spot.
Eric Simon: Ahead of Yanks or Rays?
Will McDonald: I worry about the Rays.
Jeff Sullivan: Me too.
Eric Simon: Beltran plus Uggla big win over Francoeur and Alex Cora.
Eric Simon: Mets were killed locally for not signing Lackey.
Jeff Sullivan: Did anyone expect it to look this dumb this fast?
Jeff Sullivan: Lackey and Josh Beckett. Woof.
Sky Kalkman: Mets looking at any 1B, like Fielder?
Jeff Sullivan: No way mets replace Ike Davis right now I imagine. Too popular.
Eric Simon: I like Ike but he's been pretty bad at the plate for more than a month. I'm still bullish long term.
Jeff Sullivan: I mean I'd replace Davis, but, the Mets?
Eric Simon: Right. They're happy with him and he's a fan favorite.
Will McDonald: I want the mets to stay around. I'm tired of the Phillies and Ruben Aamaro is a guy you root against now.
Jeff Sullivan: In house product! .700 ops since early June.
Sky Kalkman: Davis has .2 more Rally WAR than Yunel.
Eric Simon: Ok. Wrapping things up. World series predictions?
Jeff Sullivan: Yanks/Cards. Cards win.
Jeff Sullivan: In 7, because This Time It Counted.
Adam J. Morris: Rangers vs Braves.
Eric Simon: I'll go Yanks Padres. 1998 rematch.
Sky Kalkman: Rangers/Rockies, because who the hell knows?
Eric Simon: Bingo.
Jeff Sullivan: Would love to see Texas emerge from the AL.
Eric Simon: Same here.
Will McDonald: Rockies/Red Sox.
Thanks to Eric, Will, Adam, Sky, Jeff, and Eric for participating. Let us know what you think they nailed, and what they overlooked. And be on the look out for more unique roundtable discussions in the coming weeks.
Lastly: Love what you do on BBM.